Friday, April 2, 2010

"I Don't Trust You Either"

It doesn't seem like an unreasonable thing for you to say. Unless, of course, she wanted to play Master and Servant.

I thought Abby was cooler than that. I really did. It seems like some bosses can keep their perspective, Luchsinger was always totally cool to me. Chris was a cool boss, at least he's older than I am and had more power when he brought me to the station, or I came and worked on his show for a year. He did give me good advice, letting me know that traditionally, everyone must volunteer at KCRW. That's just how they liked to do it. I thought that was a reasonable thing to ask, and would have done it anyway just to get to know different parts of the place. (I realize the concept of volunteerism is sort of lost on the commercial radio world. It's a form of apprenticeship that doesn't get enough credit in this day and age--volunteering for something, that is. But don't get me started on the "stand for something or be part of something" argument because some people don't hear that.

I'm trying to disgest a disagreeable conversation I had yesterday with a colleague who doesn't seem to have any knowledge of/respect for the kind of radio adventurous public radio people were trying to make, back in the day. I do think the old adventures are stale.. You can't ride on them forever. But it is an adventure to try to bring music to the world outside of the corporate stadium rock megaplex culture. Smaller venues, money not so much an issue. I dunno, seems worth it to me. So you do have people doing this, but they had to have sought it out, it had to have called to them. And some people it just didn't call to. I am amazed to find there are people who were just OK with music scheduling software taking the place of people deejays. By the time I got into commercial radio it already was like that, but there were clocks and you had freedom within the clocks. They weren't computer generated clocks is what I mean. You had to play one of the red dots, but you could play any track on the CD. Like that.

We played with clocks at my college radio station, where it all began for me, the little-hyped but incredibly cool KWBU. I don't know what's become of the station, but it had a rich history as college-run alternative station. One of the "real" alternative stations in the late 80's. Which is when I was in college and just discovering that there was more music being made than that which aired on commercial radio stations. It was a revelation that there was all this great music that had no exposure. I couldn't fricking believe it. If you guessed I had no plugged-in friends in high school, you'd be right, with the exception of one who finally rescued me from the musical wasteland of commercial radio and Phil Collins. (Who is occasionally OK.)

Hey, have you ever had a time in your life that you couldn't hear music properly and it depressed the hell out of you not to be able to get from music what you had previously gotten? I mean has there ever been a time in your life where you just couldn't hear it and so the world seemed cold and dead and distant to you? I went through a period of not being able to hear music when I moved to California and there I was surrounded by some of the coolest music on the planet. At the heart of a real resource for music. And I couldn't hear it. I told my therapist this and she found it interesting. She said I was totally fucking depressed. She suggested medication. I apathetically said that I would try anything once. It happened to work. Was amazing in fact, the meds. And they helped me hear music better, too.

I'll tell ya more about that conversation I had yesterday, later. It was a real bummer.

I don't even know if I respect people who genuinely have no idea how cool public radio is, was and could be. Who don't listen to or have use for it at all. Well, that's not true. I can respect people as long as they respect me. I felt disrespected in that conversation and that's the heart of my irritation. I also felt like someone I like was being disrespected and that's my real problem. But about public radio, that some people genuinely don't feel even remotely interested in listening, that's weird to me. It's like Ross Perot saying he never had listened to "All Things Considered" and my boss at the ad agency said, doesn't that sort of show how uninformed he must be, to admit he never listened to "All Things Considered?" And I thought it was a good point.

That's a whole segment of the population and it wigs me out, man. I don't know how people can just swallow the accepted loaves of wonderbread and nothing else their whole lives long.

Oh, and I hear you about having the other stuff that you do for creative outlet. I've got my mosaics and art and my blogs and if I relied on my job for my creative outlet, I'd be screwed, man, because that just isn't where it's at in radio anymore. At the same time I can completely enjoy being on in the way I'm on..reporting traffic. There was some dude in Escondido today, just walking along northbound in southbound lanes on the 5. CHP said it was causing a "traffic disruption." California, man!

Oh, and I do have thoughts about some other stuff you bring up. Liza looms large for me on that past horizon. She was always really fun and a real talent who's been tragically underutilized at K-crazy. But she also doesn't seem to remember I exist even though I sent her a really nice greeting on myspace some time ago. I mean, it was maybe 7 months ago, a year. Unless she just doesn't look at it and has an assistant or something. There's deniability when it comes to Myspace now. But nothing really hides that fact that this computer is a communications tool and it all boils down to communicating, and when people decide not to communicate with you, it's a drag. However, talking recently to other KCRW castaways, I've discovered that I am not alone in the phenomena of being considered deceased when I have ceased to share an employer with certain persons. But there are others who have remained friends----just a few cool ones. One of the cool ones was getting dissed in this conversation that I had and that's why I'm all bunged up about it. I'll try to explain it after I find some caffeine and sugar to goose my nerve endings.

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